I Have A Child With Scoliosis
How to help your child own their scoliosis
Your child just received a scoliosis diagnosis. You may feel overwhelmed and even a little bit frightened. More than likely you’ve received conflicting information and advice, and you don’t know who to trust. But there’s one thing you do know: you’re not content to sit around and wait to see if your child’s scoli gets any worse—you’re going to do everything in your power to halt it. I understand this, and a whole lot more. I, too, have scoliosis, and so do most of my clients. I can help you sort through any confusion surrounding scoliosis. Let’s get started.
1. TAKE a deep breath
My company, Spiral Spine, has many resources and ways to help your child. Breathe in slowly, then exhale slowly. Repeat. Help has come.
2. WATCH the Starting Point Series
These short videos will teach you how to begin helping your child. They will introduce you to my method and prepare you and your child to use scoli-specific movement strategies.
4. DOWNLOAD the Scoliometer by Spiral Spine App
A scoliometer helps measure vertebral rotation. It is useful to track regular measurements before and after exercise. A decrease in rotation is correlated with movement that is good for your child’s body and helps untwist their spiral spine. You’ll use the scoliometer to check your child’s back before and after exercises.
If you need a refresher on how to use a scoliometer, you can re-watch the intro video in the Starting Point Series.
5. DOWNLOAD the Scoliometer Tracking Chart
This chart will help you easily track your child’s scoliometer measurements, and also has a place for notes. Things that have affected your child’s week (illness, long car rides, exams at school, extra practices for extra-curricular activities, etc.) are good to put down in the notes column. You’ll begin to see patterns as to what decreases and increases rotation in your child’s spine. You can then make adjustments in your child’s life to make sure all activities are helping, not hurting, their spine.
6. READ The Beautiful Scoliotic Back
This inspirational book, featuring stories of others with scoli who have successfully taken control of their quality of life, will help you take a proactive approach towards managing your child’s diagnosis.
7. GET the My Scoli Journal for your child
Designed for the teenager with scoliosis, this journal allows your child to record the physical and emotional aspects of their scoli. Treating this as a diary, your child will make notes as to what helps their scoli and what makes them feel good, while guiding and allowing them to work through the many emotions scoli often brings forth.
8. GATHER props with your child & put them in a special place
To start, whatever you have around your house that your child can work out with is great. Some ideas are yoga mats, towels, balls, shelf liner (for padding), foam rollers, and yoga blocks.
Find a special basket or container for your child’s props. You can even encourage them to decorate it to help them own their diagnosis and feel more positively towards their workout.
If you don't have any props and don't know where to buy some, you can click on the picture to the right to access Balanced Body's site, a favorite distributor of mine.
10. WATCH Kids with Scoliosis
While aimed at practitioners, this video discusses my unique, light-hearted approach for working with kids with scoliosis. The video will help you learn how to deal with the emotional side of your child's scoliosis. You'll also see what kind of local practitioner you should look for to work with your child.
11. FIND a practitioner and have your child take a lesson
Look for someone in your town that will listen to you and that your child feels comfortable with. Share the scoliometer app, tracking chart and the Starting Point Series with them. Ask them to use these to help your child. If you are having trouble finding someone locally, I offer virtual lessons. Feel free to contact my studio for assistance booking.
If you’ve found a practitioner that you like, but they need a bit more knowledge about how to work with those who have scoli, I have many resources specifically for practitioners. Refer them to the Practitioners with Scoliosis Clients.
12. ASSEMBLE your child’s dream team
This team will help keep your child feeling their best. Ideally it includes a movement practitioner (Pilates instructor, fitness coach, etc.) and a trained body worker. While movement is important, it is not the only key to living a pain-free life. A skilled body worker will help relax tight muscles that your child may not even be aware of. Again, you’ll want to look for someone who works with scoliosis patients or who is open to listening to you and your child. If you need more information on different kinds of body workers, re-watch video 5 in the Starting Point Series.
13. ENCOURAGE your child to keep it up
Having scoliosis means constant, daily work. Regular movement and release will help your child live their best, pain-free life. Your child and their spine are worth it, I promise.